HOP, SKIP & JUMP
WITH A SKIP & A JUMP INTO THE OLYMPICS
This week I had the pleasure to photograph future Olympic champion Jordan Akisawyerr
We are three months into lockdown and it was a pleasure to shoot in the great outdoors for Forte Sports. This young man, will be representing Sierra Leone one day in the Triple Jump, and is already a true champion
As a portrait photographer, I focus on many aspects in this field and one of the most enjoyable is photographing sports stars. Having worked with some of the leading icons of our sports in the past, I also get to meet and capture some of our leading young atheltes.
My shoots become much easier when photographing up and coming stars for two reasons, they don't come with a huge entourage and groupies, and 2nd you get more than 5 chances to capture the crucial shot. I adore shooting celebrities but with fame comes little time. Not naming names, I have been given 2 minutes of their time to capture that perfect crucial shot. This isn't ideal in any way but as a professional photographer you have and must work with what you are given. This is when my years of experience kicks in and gets the job done
Jordan, British born and bred but his mother being from Sierra Leone, has chosen to represent his mothers country for all the right reasons. He wants to bring world wide acclaim to the poverty stricken country. A country ruled by corrupt government and communist style ruling for far too long, Jordan wants to help where he can. He wants to build the reputation of Sierra Leone through his sport. If it wasn't for the Corona Virus and completely screwing with the athletics calendar, he was very close to representing in the Commonwealth next year but with the Olympics being moved to 2021 it sort of puts everything else into disarray .
To capture these images, I am shooting on the medium format camera Fuji GFX50s. I have owned this camera for about 2 years now, and I find it so versatile and manageable for a medium format. Back in the day you wouldn't of dreamed of taking a medium format camera outside in the fresh air, never mind shooting fast moving people.
If anybody knows medium format, they are slow, heavy, studio cameras. Not the Fuji. It is light(ish), focus uses contrast detection so it isn't the fastest but much better than your Phase and Hasselblad bodies. The best thing about the camera. The depth of field is insane. The feel of the Bokeh is beautiful, and now with High Speed Sync, I can over power the sun whilst keeping my shutter really high. In this case in floated between 3000 and 4000. Something you need to shoot high speed.
Aside from the Fuji, I had three light sources. The Sun. It was powerful on the shoot. Full heavy. I had to shoot at 4pm so it wasn't the most ideal time but workable. To off set the sun, I had a Profoto B10 Plus and a Profoto A1 speed flash for a little kicker of a light. Well I say speed flash but Profoto label it is the worlds smallest studio flash. It is part true. It has power, more than any leading speed light, it comes with a strong collection of diffusers like studio flashes and it is small. Very small. If you wanted to shoot outside in the sun with a A1 and nothing else, you certainly would need 4 or 5 of them to stack on top of each other to even begin to over power it.
To soften and broaden the sources I had a 120cm Octa on the B10 and a dome diffuser on the A1. I am a huge fan of Profoto and have shot with them for about 10 years now. I love their colour temperature, they have never let me down to this day and are exceptionally well made. I own several modifiers by Profoto but when it comes to Octabanks, I personally don't think you can beat the Elinchrom brand.
When I first started photography, all my gear was Elinchrom. They were cheap (bought second hand) worked very well and did the job. BUT the best thing about Elinchrom are their quality of modifiers. They nail it every time. They are solid. Consistent, even in distribution and look the part, so until Profoto can bring out a large octa to match the Elinchrom, I will mix and match.